Newspapers and compassion

Newspaper that are written and edited with integrity, sympathy, and perceptiveness can do something vital for all of us. They can help activate our compassion.

Compassion is one of mankind's loveliest qualities. It is a vital tenderness that combines an awareness of the problems of others with a desire to help solve them. Compassion brings dignity and grace to everyone who expresses it. It is central to Christianity; Christ Jesus was often "moved with compassion". n1

n1 See matthew 9:36.

Compassion is much needed in the world today. Probably it always has been needed. We mortals sometimes seem almost enslaved by selfishness. A popular saying in the United States, "First take care of number one," meaning oneself, seems to indicate the everyday attitude of many.

But it is a far cry from the call to compassion by the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy: n2 "Forget self in laboring for mankind. . . ." n3 Actually, much of the security and peace that we all deserve and that so many of us are trying to find by putting ourselves first, can be found only by putting ourselves second to compassionate, selfless service to others.

n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 155.

Compassion is not the kind of sympathetic pity that enters into and shares the misery of others. One reason many of us may suppress our natural compassion is that we cannot endure the disappointment and frustation of pity but do not yet understand how different it is from true compassion.

The highest compassion goes beyond a humanly good quality. It is Godlike. It lifts us to the spiritual or Christly understanding Jesus showed when he healed others. It raises us to at least glimpse man as he really is -- God's perfect child. Holy compassion is far from being aloof or indifferent to the world's problems. Nor does it rationalize them away out of a sad fear that we cannot really help others no matter how deeply we may want to. True compassion has a cleareyed view of world conflict as well as of individual suffering from unemployment, heavy taxation, or starvation. But it is able to look beyond the merely mortal picture and glimpse in some degree the beauty and wholeness of God's creation.

This view is prayer that actually helps heal world troubles and relieve individual suffering. It looks to God for answers to every need, and it finds them in Him. It lifts us out of indifference and callousness, which are often fear and ignorance disguised, and opens our lives to a new gentleness and tenderness in every activity from making hard business decisions to tucking a child into bed. The beautiful spiritual fact is that all of us in our true being as children of God, are now overflowing with love and spiritual understanding. This truth is the most vital of all sources of nourishment to the compassionate world view.

Nespapers can help activate the spiritual and moral qualities we all have. Every good reporting job can look beyond problems to practical and wise solutions that are there now for those who need them and look in the right direction.

In a way, nespapers can set an example for us. They can encourage us. They can balance intellect with compassion so both are freer to rise to a fuller understanding of man's unity with God. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and true compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. Zechariah 7:9, 10

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